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Salient issues in the PDP victory at the Osun State governorship election

By Hajia Hadiza Mohammed The Osun State Gubernatorial election 2022 has come and gone with the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clinching victory, defeating the…

By Hajia Hadiza Mohammed

The Osun State Gubernatorial election 2022 has come and gone with the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clinching victory, defeating the incumbent governor of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). It was a sweet victory that portends great omen for the opposition PDP.

In a keenly contested battle, the PDP gubernatorial candidate Senator Ademola Adeleke defeated the incumbent governor Gboyega Oyetola, winning in 17 Local Government Area polling 403,371 votes against Oyetola’s, who had 375,027 votes, winning in 13 Local Government Area.

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There is no gainsaying the fact that the victory of the PDP in Osun election is significant in many dimensions. First, it signifies the rejection of APC by the people and portends looming failure for the APC in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election. It was reported in the media that some of the prominent APC stalwarts in the state lost in their various wards and local government areas.

It is interesting to note that the current APC National Secretary Senator Iyiola Omisore is from the state. Also, the current Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola is from the state. Femi Fani-Kayode is from the state, and it has been insinuated that the national leader and the presidential candidate of APC in the 2023 presidential election is also from the state. The victory is a clear indication that the people of Osun, nay Nigerians, are fed up with the APC regime and its outmoded divisive politics and exclusionist policies. The people of Nigeria want peace, security, and unity, which an inclusive government can usher in. We need a unifier and a bridge-builder, and the people have spoken. And this is a foretaste of what to expect in 2023. Nigeria will not repeat the mistake of 2015, other things being equal. Again, the victory validated the claim by the PDP that it won the 2018 election in the state but was shortchanged by the APC’s official manipulation. 

Another significant thing in the PDP victory in Osun is the Atiku factor. His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, the erstwhile vice-president of the country, cut short his overseas trip to be at the party’s mega rally to round off the campaign for the election. The APC government, despite denying the PDP the use of a more convenient venue, the party held the rally in its secretariat, and thousands of party faithful and sympathizers thronged to the venue to support the candidature of Ademola Adeleke and to hear the party standard bearer Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (GCON).

In his speech at the mega rally, the Wazirin Adamawa had charged the people of Osun not just to come out and vote but to defend their vote for doing otherwise would be likened to going back to darkness. And the people reacted accordingly, voting PDP and Senator Ademola Adeleke. Clearly, this victory is particularly significant to Atiku for his campaign in Osun is apparently his first official assignment to the party since his emergence as the party’s flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election, and it turned out victorious and successful. This, indeed, portends success and victory for the former vice-president of the country, the PDP and the nation in general.

In line with the above factor is the fact that PDP is big and wide spread to accommodate all as its logo symbolizes. It also means that among the party fold, nobody is bigger than the party and nobody is indispensable in the party. For some ostensible reasons some members of the party bigwigs shunned the Osun campaign rally and the yet the party emerged victorious. It is indeed a signal for the aggrieved party members to close ranks and work for the victory of PDP and Nigerians in 2023. They must be vigilant to stop the APC moles in the party from distracting and confusing them.

Another very remarkable thing in the election was the determination of the people of Osun to make their vote count. They voted and waited patiently for the votes to be counted and uploaded to INEC website thereby reducing the possibility of official manipulation. By their exercise of civic duty and vigilance they forced INEC to be neutral in the conduct of the Osun Gubernatorial election. This is what we expect of every Nigerian. As the 2023 election approaches everyone is expected to be vigilant. The new electoral law has made some changes that will reduce electoral malfeasance. It is left for us to avail ourselves of the opportunity to make our votes count. The reduction of official manipulation and rigging will undoubtedly reduce voters’ apathy that has been identified as one of the bane of our electoral system.

Finally, and more important fallout of the Osun gubernatorial election is the fact that the good people of Osun State shunned vote buying; the evil act that the APC regime has introduced and institutionalized in the polity. It was reported widely in the media that there were brazen attempt by the contestant at the election to use monetary inducement to influence the people. And it was also alleged that most of the Osun indigenes collected the said funds and still went ahead to vote the candidates of their choice. This is encouraging. We cannot fully explore the damage that the APC vote-buying proclivity has done against the nation. It is actually the main cause of bad governance since it has made those occupying elective positions complacent because they hope that with the money they stole, they can buy the electorate during the election.

On that note, I congratulate the Osun State governor-elect Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (GCON), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family and the good people of Osun State for their well-deserved victory. And I enjoin the well-meaning compatriots to emulate the example set by Osun State and vote for unity, inclusion, national security, peace and progress in our country. We must not allow the continuance of the reign of anarchy. Nigeria must work again and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Hajia Hadiza Mohammed writes London, UK